As part of its Canadian Business Resilience Network campaign, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), provided 62 small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times. What follows the story of Greenscape Design & Décor from Burnaby, British Columbia, one of the businesses that received a grant.
Greenscape Design & Décor is an artificial greenery company that supplies and designs replica trees, plants and green walls for film and event rentals, public facilities and the hospitality industry.
“As varied as our client base is, unfortunately, all our market segments have been negatively impacted due to COVID-19 and the revenue losses have been profound,” said owner Corinne Kessel.
Greenscape has experienced an 80% decline in sales since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when mandated business, events, film and television closures became widespread. This resulted in temporary layoffs for the entire team and a rapid reduction in all operating expenses to preserve their limited cash flow.
“Last fiscal year-end was the strongest year in our 25-year history, and to see such a devastating downturn so deep and so wide has been incredibly disappointing for our team,” explained Kessel. “But, in all the darkness, there is still light. The pandemic pushed us to activate our creativity, resilience and innovation. We will renew, rebuild and work to uplift our community along the way.”
Greenscape Design & Décor has been very active in their local business community as long-time members of the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) as well as one of the BBOT’s Sustainability Pledge members. Greenscape has also been a past recipient of the Burnaby Board of Trade Business Excellence Award.
“We hold memberships in various industry associations and volunteer on boards to help provide leadership and to give back to the people that support us,” said Kessel. “We see the greatest value and personal growth from being active participants in our industry and community. We stand up and give back.”
Greenscape Design & Décor is female-owned and primarily female-operated, providing creative and inspiring work opportunities for women, youth, newcomers and the LGBT community. Their team is very passionate about the environment and they support the use of sustainable décor options and socially responsible practices.
To continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenscape began producing Plexiglass barriers to help their fellow business owners operate safely.
“We designed three lines of freestanding tabletop and floor standing barriers and dividing walls and provided customized sizing, decals and décor additions,” shared Kessel.“We were the first Burnaby Board of Trade members to offer such a service and it inspired the Burnaby Board of Trade to pull together and distribute a list of all its members that were providing PPE offerings. It was important for us to get involved and help keep people safe.”
Since the launch of their Plexiglass product line, Greenscape Design & Décor is striving to be innovative and develop new products and services.
“We know that physical distancing will require spaces to be redesigned, and we want to make physical distancing beautiful,” said Kessel. “We want to provide thoughtful, therapeutic and visually pleasing plant art to help people transform their spaces. We are creating a focused product line that will be 100% sustainable, locally sourced and circular that will feature moss walls and dividers, green walls and dividers, and custom pieces that will bring innovative natural elements and biophilic benefits into everyday settings.”
Greenscape Design & Décor intends to use the CBRN grant to support the research and launch of their new product line.
To learn more about the CBRN Small Business Relief Fund and see the full list of award recipients, visit the Small Business Relief Fund page.